LIST OF ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS 4
I. FOREWORD 5
II. INTRODUCTION 7
The global academic culture of journalism education 10
The contextualized applications of the UNESCO Model Curricula and their
implications for the future 14
In search of specialized journalistic literacies 19
III. USER’S GUIDE AND OVERVIEW OF SYLLABI 23
References to Parts I to III 27
IV. SYLLABI 29
Media sustainability 31
Data journalism 43
Intercultural journalism 55
Community radio journalism 67
Global journalism 91
Science journalism, incorporating bioethics 105
Gender and journalism 129
Humanitarian journalism 141
Reporting human trafﬁcking 157
Safety and journalism 195
V. APPENDICES 209
1. Useful resources in journalism education 210
2. Background information on the Bureau of
the Dutch National Rapporteur on Trafﬁcking in Human Beings
and Sexual Violence against Children 211
VI. CONTRIBUTORS 213
List of syllabus authors 214
List of peer reviewers 215
List of UNESCO staff 217
LIST OF ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS
AEJMC Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication
AJIC Asian Institute of Journalism and Mass Communication
AMI African Media Initiative
AMIC Asian Media Information and Communication Centre
ASEAN Association of South East Asian Nations
BNRM Bureau of the Dutch National Rapporteur on Trafﬁcking in Human Beings
and Sexual Violence against Children
CNPq Brazilian National Council for Research and Scientiﬁc Development
COP Conferences of the Parties
CPJ Committee to Protect Journalists
ECREA European Communication Research and Education Association
EJC European Journalism Centre
ESRC Economic and Social Research Council in the United Kingdom
GMMP Global Media Monitoring Project
ILO International Labour Organization
IOM International Organization for Migration
IPDC (UNESCO) International Programme for Development of Communication
IWMF International Women’s Media Foundation
JIT joint investigation team
LGU local council owned/funded
MDGs Millennium Development Goals
MoHE Ministry of Higher Education
NGO non-governmental organization
NWICO New World Information and Communication Order
OSCE Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
PBL project-based learning
PUS public understanding of science
SADC Southern African Development Community
UNODC United Nations Ofﬁce of Drugs and Crime
WAN/IFRA World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers
WFSJ World Federation of Science Journalists
WJEC World Journalism Education Council
WJEC-1 First World Journalism Education Congress
WJEC-2 Second World Journalism Education Congress
WJEC-3 Third World Journalism Education Congress
This publication represents an important instalment in our UNESCO Series on
Journalism Education. It comes at a time when journalism education globally is
undergoing signiﬁcant changes, especially following the ongoing technological
evolution as well as the global ﬁnancial and economic crisis that surfaced in 2008.
Since then, media institutions, particularly in developed countries, have come
under pressure to adjust to the new realities. More importantly, however, this new
global reality poses important challenges for journalism education and how it can
take such challenges on board, particularly in a strategic rethink of journalism
curricula. In many ways, this present publication is UNESCO’s response to these
challenges, which, if not seriously taken up, will have dire consequences for media
practice and journalism education in the developing world.
Furthermore, this publication is an important step in looking again at the UNESCO
Model Curricula for Journalism Education developed in 2007. The piloting of
the Model Curricula by some seventy journalism training institutions in over
sixty countries has thrown up even fresher – and perhaps more signiﬁcant
challenges – for journalism education to adapt to specialized knowledge and skills
acquisition. There is a demand for new and often specialized literacies reﬂecting
a fast-changing social, political, economic and technological order. As a result,
contemporary newsrooms and classrooms must not only learn to navigate the
treacherous waters of ﬁnancial and economic sustainability but also – as part
of that sustainability agenda – take on board the particular literacies of science
communication, data mining, human trafﬁcking, gender, etc. These issues are,
among others, the subject matter of the syllabi presented here.
Finally, it is important to acknowledge the fact that each of the syllabi that
make up this compendium represents UNESCO’s outreach to build issue-
based strategic partnerships with key journalism education experts and media
development institutions globally. The authors agreed to prepare the syllabi at no
cost to UNESCO, knowing that their intellectual and scholarly efforts represented
a major contribution towards redeﬁning the global vision for journalism education.
For this, UNESCO will remain indebted to them.
Assistant director-general for communication and information,
This compendium of new syllabi represents UNESCO’s strategic response to
the question: How can journalism education continue to renew itself? This is the
question that the Third World Journalism Education Congress (WJEC-3) posed
to its delegates. There are two aspects to this question. The ﬁrst recognizes
the historical trajectories through which journalism education has evolved. The
second is a call to renegotiate the future trajectory of journalism education.
These questions are framed in an increasingly complex social, political and
economic context. In the aftermath of the 2008 global economic and ﬁnancial
crisis, journalism faced its most trying moment, especially in the developed world.
And so did journalism education, posing challenges for the future. As Howard
Finberg noted during a speech to the European Journalism Centre (EJC), ‘We need
to innovate inside the classroom with new forms of teaching. We need to innovate
to make getting a journalism education easier’ (2012). Partly in response to this
call for innovation, Dane S. Claussen points to an important study by the Carnegie
Corporation of New York, which concluded that US journalism needed, among
other things, analytical thinkers with a strong ethical sense, as well as journalism
skills, specialized expertise, including insights into medicine, economics and other
complex topics, and ﬁrst-hand knowledge of societies, languages, religions and
cultures (Claussen, 2012).
Such a role of journalism, incorporating different strands of knowledge, is clearly
recognized globally, beyond the United States of America (USA). For example,
as Berger and Foote (2013) note, genuine university training in journalism is not
only a practice within the rubric of academic freedom, it should (and often does)
operate to promote freedom of expression rights and access to journalistic skills
and platforms to gain such rights. Another journalism education-related freedom
is the freedom to use the learning provided. Journalism skill sets are easily
transferable to other ﬁelds. In some cases, students study journalism with no
intention to enter the profession. Instead they learn high-level information and
communication skills to further their liberal arts studies or to pursue a related
Another trend worth mentioning is the shift towards greater understanding of
the conditions under which journalism education can be effective, taking into
account the fact that journalism education is indeed on the increase, despite the
challenges that it is facing. As Berger and Foote observe, the explosive growth
of global journalism education has also attracted private sector involvement. In
many regions worldwide, and especially in developing countries, commercial
entities have entered the fray, although this emerging type of journalism education
has sometimes been susceptible to criticism based on quality issues and the
possible exploitation of students. In the 1980s, the Asian media boom and its
corresponding increase in private media created increased demand for formal
journalism education in many countries in the region. In the 1990s, there was
considerable journalism education growth in the Middle East and Africa. And by
2000, university-level journalism education courses were nearly universal. Indeed,
in China and India, journalism education programmes continue to proliferate at a
mind-numbing rate. Citing a census of journalism education started in 2007 by the
World Journalism Education Council (WJEC), Berger and Foote (2013) report that
nearly 3,000 global programmes were registered on the census database, with the
bulk of these programmes spread fairly evenly between North America, Europe
This growth is in a response to a bullish educational market. As a Knight
Foundation study report concludes:
Fully 85 percent of the journalists surveyed say they would beneﬁt
greatly or very greatly from more training and staff development.
International journalists, mostly Latin American distance-learning
alumni of the Knight Center at the University of Texas, were more
likely to say they would beneﬁt from additional training. Nine in 10
said they would beneﬁt greatly or very greatly.
Even among U.S. journalists, the rate of great and very great
beneﬁt was 75 percent. This shows growing demand from the 2002
Newsroom Training survey, when only 54 percent of journalists said
they would beneﬁt a lot from training.
Overall, only 3 percent of the journalists surveyed see little or no
beneﬁt in training, or say they just don’t know. There is almost total
agreement – 97 percent of the respondents – that training would
beneﬁt them in some way, with half saying they would receive very
(McLellanand Newton, 2012)
With such mushrooming journalism programmes globally, the need for quality
cannot be overemphasized. As Berger and Foote argue, the ultimate goal of
journalism education, regardless of its provider, is to empower not only the
student but journalism itself. In other words, the quality of journalism education is
supposed to have an impact on the quality of citizenship and society. Journalism
education educates not only practitioners, but the public as well. This goal
suggests a signiﬁcant role for journalism educators: to serve media industry
interests as a means toward the greater goal of serving the public, and to also
directly promote news literacy (Berger and Foote, 2013).
To this end, through UNESCO, 195 Member States set and promote press freedom
standards appropriate to free, independent and pluralistic media – online and
ofﬂine. A key part of that mandate consists in building the capacities of such
media institutions, especially in a fast-changing technological context with new
challenges to freedom of expression. The development of the UNESCO Model
Curricula – which provide frameworks for these specialized syllabi – is thus an
attempt by UNESCO to set standards based on good practice internationally, as a
resource on which stakeholders around the world can draw in order to improve
the quality of journalism education in their countries. The effort derives from
a conviction that professional journalistic standards are essential to a media
system that can foster democracy, dialogue and development. By improving the
quality of journalism education, UNESCO believes that both journalism educators
and students stand a better chance of inﬂuencing journalistic production at the
news-institutional level. In turn, newsrooms that are staffed by well-trained
and critically minded journalists are likely to positively inﬂuence the processes
of democracy and development in their societies, especially in the developing
world. A quality journalism education is a guarantor not only of democracy and
development, but also of press freedom itself.
Against this background, then, this compendium brings together ten specialized
syllabi, some of which drew their inspiration from two separate intellectual
engagements with the UNESCO Model Curriculum:
▶ a preconference workshop on 8 August 2012 in Chicago at the Convention
of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication
(AEJMC) under the theme ‘Teaching Journalism in Developing Countries and
Emerging Democracies: The Case of UNESCO’s Model Curricula’;
▶ An UNESCO special panel on ‘Universalizing journalism education? An
interrogation of UNESCO’s Evolving contribution to the ﬁeld’ held on 27
September in Istanbul alongside the Fourth European Communication
Conference of the European Communication Research and Education
The Model Curricula were launched in 2007 at the ﬁrst World Journalism
Education Congress (WJEC-1) convened in Singapore. By the end of 2012, they had
been adapted by at least seventy journalism schools in sixty countries in diverse
linguistic, social and cultural contexts.
Since 2007, UNESCO has attempted to evaluate the relevance impact of the Model
Curricula on the quality of journalism education globally, taking into account
the particular national and institutional contexts of their application. The two
academic panels referred to above (in Chicago and Istanbul) are good examples
of the forms such an evaluative exercise has taken. Taken together, UNESCO’s
evaluative attempts offer a threefold analytical framework for envisioning
journalism education in the future. Key ingredients in this framework are (i) the
academic culture of journalism education globally; (ii) the contextual applications
of the Model Curricula and their implications for the future; and (iii) a search for
new specialized syllabi to incorporate emerging issues.
The global academic culture of journalism education
An important issue here is the place of journalism in the broad academic
culture of the university, something that pertains to its theoretical and research
credentials, and also how these relate to its practical dimension and to the place
of such hands-on activity within the academy. During the ﬁrst 2005 consultative
meeting in Paris involving experts in journalism education, it was agreed that in
the best of circumstances, a journalism curriculum – not to mention its faculty
and students – should nest comfortably within the intellectual and academic
culture of the university and be invigorated by it. So the initial discussion of the
curricula included a thorough review of the frustrations as well as the successes
of journalism educators, and it included much talk about ‘journalism’ as
opposed to ‘media’ or ‘mass communication’, as the core subject of a proposed
programme (see Banda and Schmitz Weiss, 2013).
This discussion was happening at a time when some countries were undergoing
their own reforms in the way they approached journalism education. For example,
in October 2005 the Brazilian National Council for Research and Scientiﬁc
Development (CNPq), a national academic funding agency, updated the key
areas of scientiﬁc knowledge. As Sonia Virginia Moreira argued, this educational
policy reform resulted in the conﬁrmation of journalism as a ﬁeld of research in
communication, to emphasize the theoretical aspect of journalism. For its part,
communication was already treated as an integral subject area of applied social
science, with emphasis on the practical aspects directly linked to industry. After
several debates involving professors and researchers, representatives of the
main scientiﬁc societies signed a ﬁnal document which deﬁned six sub-areas
of knowledge in communication: cyber culture and communication technology;
audiovisual communication; movies, radio and television; organizational
communication, public relations and advertising; mediation and communicational
interfaces; and theories of communication. Nine journalism areas of expertise
were included on the list – Brazilian, communitarian, scientiﬁc, digital, business,
specialized, online, segmented and rural – in addition to three topics related to the
ﬁeld: history of editing, the press and journalism (Banda and Schmitz Weiss, 2013).
Of course, such a policy reform had its own problems, including the fact that
journalism courses were henceforth required to be taught by degree or diploma
holders and not what Moreira calls ‘journalist-professors’. This requirement
meant that many of the professionals from industry were prevented from
continuing to teach in the universities. Thankfully, there was also a group of
young professionals in the 1980s who had migrated from the newsroom to the
classroom. Many of them became involved with journalism and/or communication
research, and were thus better able to transition to teaching theoretical aspects of
journalistic practice in addition to the practice itself, and to integrate the two sides
of the coin as well.
Still, the main paradox faced by Brazilian journalism educators, as a result of
the policy reform above, was the requirement for training courses to be better
equipped in order to reproduce the professional environment in so-called
‘laboratories’, as the academy had lost its link to the newsroom, previously
represented informally in the courses by the journalist-professor model of
instruction. Today, the bridge between media organizations and the academic
world is yet the subject of a complex reconstruction – a topic that the UNESCO
Model Curricula had partly addressed through emphasis on student internships.
This Brazilian case illustrates a global trend in efforts to make journalism a
legitimate and respected ﬁeld of study within the university context. This is clearly
demonstrated by the Principles of Journalism Education declared at WJEC-1 in
Singapore in 2007. Among the eleven principles is the following attestation:
We are unanimous that journalism education provides the
foundation as theory, research, and training for the effective and
responsible practice of journalism. Journalism education is deﬁned
in different ways. At the core is the study of all types of journalism.
Journalism should serve the public in many important ways, but
it can only do so if its practitioners have mastered an increasingly
complex body of knowledge and specialized skills. Above all,
to be a responsible journalist must involve an informed ethical
commitment to the public. This commitment must include an
understanding of and deep appreciation for the role that journalism
plays in the formation, enhancement and perpetuation of an
The Principles are unequivocal in stressing that ‘at the heart of journalism
education is a balance of conceptual, philosophical and skills-based content.
While it is also interdisciplinary, journalism education is an academic ﬁeld in
its own right with a distinctive body of knowledge and theory.’ The Principles
further reiterate that ‘journalism is a ﬁeld appropriate for university study from
undergraduate to postgraduate levels. Journalism programmes offer a full range
of academic degrees including bachelors, masters and Doctor of Philosophy
degrees as well as certiﬁcate, specialized and mid-career training.’ In this regard,
it is worth noting what was concluded in a report of a discussion on the ‘Ultimate
Journalism Education’ convened at WJEC-2 in South Africa in 2010: ‘Journalism,
on its own, does not constitute enough of substance to make up a full three or
four-year degree program. Journalism education needs to draw on, interact with
and contribute to other forms of knowledge in the university’ (Nordenstreng,
The Principles also highlight that ‘journalism educators should be a blend of
academics and practitioners; it is important that educators have experience
working as journalists’.
The above observations were a point of further discussion in Istanbul. In her
presentation, Dr Incilay Cangöz, a Turkish associate professor at Anadolu
University, noted that any journalism curricula needed to reﬂect the constantly
changing demands of the media industry while focusing on larger political and
social issues. On the other hand, her Spanish counterpart, Professor Pilar Carrera
of Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, challenged the notion of an ‘interdisciplinary’
journalism education, arguing that journalism education needed to be recognized
by academia as a ‘strong, focused and autonomous journalistic ﬁeld’ (Banda and
Schmitz Weiss, 2013).
These views, together with the main lines of the UNESCO Model Curricula,
constitute a synthesis of the substantive content of journalism education
according to what could be called the ‘WJEC philosophy’ (Nordenstreng, 2010).
Arguably, such a philosophy regards journalism as a social practice whose
knowledge and skills base is interdisciplinary in nature. As such, it can easily be
located in an academic context, where it can draw upon other disciplines while
preserving its professional autonomy. Here, a vital distinction to make is that
the presenters were concerned about the practice of journalism in institutional
settings, as opposed to non-institutional or non-professional settings, such as the
blogosphere (as with citizen journalism). Such a ‘professionalized’ perspective
of journalism (highlighting for instance issues of public interest, accuracy and
veriﬁability) continues to be an important consideration in discussions of the
Model Curricula. This is because journalism education at institutions of higher
learning is still seen and valued as a process by which students become critically
aware of the professional ethics that inform the practice of journalism, including
the institutional constraints that are placed on such journalistic practices. At
the same time, such professional standards are relevant to assessing whether
particular extra-institutional mass communication counts as journalism.
Concomitantly, they are relevant to journalism education for non-professionals,
such as courses serving volunteers in community radio settings, and participants
engaging in user-generated content on websites.
The contextualized applications of the UNESCObModel Curricula and their
implications for thebfuture
One of the key challenges facing UNESCO in serving an international constituency
is in developing curriculum resources that are representative of a diversity of
national and regional experiences, and which afford adaptation in a range of
circumstances. This challenge is ampliﬁed by the need to also respond to the
global unevenness as regards wider changes in both media and education.
The Istanbul panel in particular deliberated on these wider issues of the
‘universalizing’ project in journalism education by critically scrutinizing two of
UNESCO’s draft new syllabi – on data journalism and media sustainability. Both
syllabi are contained in this present compendium.
In this vein, some scholars have legitimately and rightly questioned whether
the UNESCO model curriculum design can be ‘universal’. For example, Dr Kim
Sawchuk of Concordia University, speaking during the Istanbul UNESCO special
panel, pointed out that she was ‘suspicious of the term and notion of the universal’,
calling for a pedagogical ‘negotiation’ in journalism. She called on her counterparts
to ‘create journalism programmes that work from the particularities of the locale
and are sensitive to that locale’ (cited in Banda and Schmitz Weiss, 2013).
However, part of the problem could be resolved by putting the concept of a ‘model’
in its proper social-scientiﬁc methodological perspective as a tool for making
sense of the complexity of journalism education as practised in different locales.
To this end, we can cite Michael Pool (2007, p. 22), who observes that:
An important criterion for the choice of a model is its likely
fruitfulness in generating further insights. Models have:
▶ Positive features – ways in which the two are alike.
▶ Negative features – ways in which the two are unlike.
▶ Neutral features – ones that are neither obviously positive or negative.
Citing Mary Hesse, Pool reminds us that ‘we do not know how far
the comparison extends – it is precisely in its extension that the
fruitfulness of the model may lie’ (2007, p. 22).
In short, a model will not resemble that of which it is a model in every respect.
Therefore, the UNESCO Model Curricula should perhaps best be seen as an
abstraction, with the clear concomitant implication that their application would
not (and should not) match every conceivable national context of application. They
would resemble such a context either positively, negatively or neutrally, following
Pool’s explanation above.
Where the Curricula have been potentially positive to a context, their adaptation
in a local condition has been relatively seamless, accompanied perhaps by minor
adjustments. Where they have been negative, but nevertheless still aspirational,
they have been more heavily adjusted to suit the local context, particularly in
situations where training institutions have organizational and infrastructural
inadequacies (for instance, in Iraq) (Pavlik et al., 2012). Thus, as Rukhsana Aslam
of the Paciﬁc Media Centre observes, although there is little to disagree on
regarding the broad principles of the Model Curricula, their adaptation to Paciﬁc
countries is mainly constrained by the availability of relevant human expertise,
availability of resources and a positive environment, resulting in Paciﬁc journalism
training institutions not strictly following the UNESCO guidelines but reﬂecting
them to varying degrees (Aslam, 2012).
Arguably, the more pessimistic criticisms of the Model Curricula have generally
focused more on their negative (non-congruent) aspects, although in fairness even
these negative aspects are a valuable source of empirical data which is informing
their updating. Furthermore, such criticisms have overly simpliﬁed the contextual
differences between and among countries. For example, to assume, as Eric
Freedman and Richard Shafer do, that adapting the Model Curricula will result
in students who are ‘overqualiﬁed for low-paid domestic journalism jobs that are
available, although they may be good candidates for employment by government
or business’, is to hold a static view of developing countries and emerging
democracies. Many such countries have clear aspirations and potential for an
educational and organizational shift to top-notch, cutting-edge, quality journalism
education. And contrary to developed countries, the job situation is improving
rather than declining in many cases (Freedman and Shafer, 2010).
In fact, the very introduction of the UNESCO-designated potential centres of
excellence and reference in journalism in Africa was predicated on the idea that
it was possible to cultivate modern journalism schools within Africa that could
generate high-quality graduates of the type envisaged by the Model Curricula
(Berger and Matras, 2007). An underlying assumption, ignored by such critics,
is that there are educational standards to which all countries aspire and that
the Model Curricula serve as an embodiment of such standards. Such a theory
of change is clearly what is driving many media development actors across the
continent (Susman-Peña, 2012).
In addition, such criticisms are rebutted in part by the increasing number of
countries turning to the Model Curricula as an important resource for their
own curriculum redesigns. By 2011, a number of journalism education/training
institutions in Afghanistan, China, Guyana, Iran, Jamaica, Lesotho, Mauritius,
Mexico, Mongolia, Pakistan, Rwanda, South Africa and Tanzania had either
adapted, or were in the process of adapting, the Model Curricula. Gabon, Congo,
Uzbekistan and Myanmar have also expressed interest in adapting them. As
indicated above, UNESCO records some seventy journalism training institutions
in over sixty countries having adapted the Model Curricula. By 16 May 2012, the
UNESCO web site had registered 12,223 downloads of the publication, across
the following linguistic platforms: English, Arabic, Chinese, French, Portuguese,
Russian, Spanish, and Nepali (Banda and Schmitz Weiss, 2013).
There are also many in-country training institutions actively using the Model
Curricula as a resource for their curriculum reviews. For example, by the end
of 2012, during a curriculum development and harmonization capacity-building
workshop co-organized by the University of Lagos, University of Ibadan and Lagos
State Polytechnic with ﬁnancial support from UNESCO’s International Programme
for Development of Communication (IPDC), eleven more journalism training
institutions in Nigeria made commitments to adjust their pedagogical practices
in line with the Model Curricula. They included Lagos State University, Moshood
Abiola Polytechnic, Redeemer’s University, University of Nigeria and Covenant
University. The rest were Times Journalism Institute, International Institute of
Journalism, Ahmadu Bello University, Pan African University, Yaba College of
Technology and Al-Hikma University (UNESCO, 2012).
It is also important to consider that such criticisms ignore the fact that the Model
Curricula serve to identify curricular gaps both in the developing and developed
countries – gaps which seem to reinforce the signiﬁcance of specialized reporting
of the complexities of those societies. For example, after reviewing the Model
Curricula in the context of journalism education curricula in the United States,
Claussen concluded, among other things, that:
▶ Model Curricula several times refers to the importance of journalism
students having ‘knowledge’ of journalism’s ‘role in developing and
securing democracy,’ a focus of efforts by Jeremy Cohen, the late Cole
Campbell, and various individuals identiﬁed with civic, public, citizen
and/or community journalism, and yet another wakeup call when one
notes how few U.S. journalism students seem to have any interest at all
in covering politics and/or government.
▶ An international and development journalism syllabus, by Brazil’s
Sonia Virginia Moreira, requires students to read UNESCO’s
International Principles of Professional Ethics in Journalism. Here in
the United States, where almost none of the media ethics textbooks
or monographs bother to reprint even the Society of Professional
Journalists Code of Ethics, let alone other professional groups’, who
would know that such a document existed?
▶ The politics and government reporting syllabus, written by Argentina’s
Jorge Liotti for university seniors, reminds us that in U.S. journalism
education we don’t spend much time on the full spectrum of ‘interest
groups, other sources of power,’ which Liotti lists as: ‘Armed Forces,
trade unions, religious organizations, private companies, NGOs.
Nonformal groups of pressure: terrorists, guerrillas, drug and weapon
dealers, demonstrators, activists, picketers …. Seminar: Challenges of
reporting and writing in a hostile environment.’ Terrorists, guerrillas,
and drug dealers might not have much power as political interest
groups in the United States or as in some other countries, but not so
It is worth re-emphasizing that the Model Curricula were an international project,
involving scholars from Australia, Benin, Bulgaria, Canada, Denmark, Finland,
France, Ghana, India, Lebanon, Morocco, Qatar, Singapore, South Africa and
the USA, while scholars from most of those countries and others wrote and/or
reviewed various drafts (Claussen, 2007). Each expert thus brought their unique
sociocultural perspective in a project that sought to unify such perspectives in a
shared journalism education curriculum design from which all countries could
Against this background, then, several lessons have emerged over the years
about how the Model Curricula have been adapted to suit the local context. In
the Asian case, for example, the Asian Media Information and Communication
Centre (AMIC), a long-time UNESCO partner, used free online tools like Google
Translate to address the need to translate the Model Curriculum into regional
languages like Hindi, Thai Malay and Indonesian, among others. Naturally, if this
were to be replicated on a larger scale, a more systematic translation process
would be necessary, but it was a step towards disseminating knowledge resources
more widely. In addition, AMIC sought to add local resource materials that are
different but relevant to each country and in-country region. A related issue was
AMIC encouraging institutions to allocate more resources and provide support for
infrastructure and retraining in order to effectively adapt the Model Curricula.
In the Iraqi context, representing a conﬂict/postconﬂict environment, an adaptive,
instructional approach was used, offering the journalism educators and policy-
makers there an opportunity to choose from a menu of strategic and professional
recommendations arising from a series of consultations between international
experts and Iraqi journalism educators and policy-makers. The strategic
recommendations of this UNESCO-supported process included:
▶ Offering elective courses in both Iraq and the Kurdish region to provide
students with the opportunity of choice. That is, students in Baghdad should
have as a choice the opportunity to study Kurdish history and culture, while
students in Sulaimaniya should have the choice of studying the history of
Iraq as an elective. This would help lessen the gap between the regions
by promoting cultural understanding and acceptance and, ultimately,
▶ The need for the Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE) to reconsider its stance
on the use of distance education technology and implement elements of online
course instruction throughout Iraqi higher education. This would allow for
education for all, especially in remote areas, and would help resolve space and
logistical constraints while placing Iraq and KRG in the modern educational
▶ The need for the curriculum department in the MoHE to launch a professional
development programme that would enable its members to identify and deﬁne
needs, propose change and development, and collaborate with the global
Professional recommendations bordered on the need for enhanced collaboration
between training institutions and the industry. To that end, it was recommended
that media professionals – both inside and outside Iraq – should be called upon to
provide industry insight to students as guest speakers and expert mentors, thus
enhancing communication skills and exchange of knowledge and experience.
Another recommendation was that student internships should be encouraged
and supported more fully by university administrators. Public–private sector
partnerships should be developed to promote internships, guest speaker activities,
job shadowing, interviews and project-based learning (PBL).
In addition, as a special innovation to the UNESCO Model Curricula, the
proposed curriculum for Iraq included a virtual foreign correspondent internship
programme for students in Iraq. This pioneering programme would be among
the ﬁrst of its kind in the world for an emerging democracy, and would be an
opportunity for students and news-gathering organizations to transcend the
travel difﬁculties into and out of Iraq with valuable learning experiences that could
produce valuable news coverage. The Iraqi students would serve as interns with
out-of-Iraq news media, but from inside Iraq (Pavlik et al., 2012).
In search of specialized journalistic literacies
As Gordon Stuart Adam observes, the Appendix to the UNESCO Model Curricula
has a rich collection of syllabi, which organize some of the well-recognized thinking
in journalism education by some of its most-respected professors. Considered
alongside the main report, which provides a basic curricular blueprint, the Appendix
provides a powerful step into the content and organization of journalism studies. It
does this with a measured ﬂexibility. The various syllabi are open-ended, and can
and should be adapted to cultural realities and local conditions. In the meantime,
they provide a window into pedagogical method (Banda and Schmitz Weiss, 2013).
In this vein, UNESCO is continually taking action to expand on the range of syllabi to
reﬂect the diversity of journalism practices. This has taken the form of modularizing
specialized journalistic literacies, ranging from media sustainability, data
journalism, intercultural journalism and community journalism to global journalism
– which form the thematic fulcrum of this compendium. In developing these
modules, UNESCO has been partially addressing the scholarly critique of the Model
Curricula, and updating them in relation to speciﬁc sociocultural circumstances,
based on critical assessment and reﬂection (Nordenstreng, 2010). As such, these
specialized literacies extend the Model Curricula to include new syllabi covering
emerging or particularly relevant themes in journalism education globally.
Such syllabi have a common thread running through them: journalism must
respond to the context in which it is taught, practised and researched. As a
consequence, they help to extend our theoretical understanding of journalism
as a responsive, dynamic and evolving practice, and thus are a signiﬁcant new
step beyond the Model Curricula. Journalism education is an important vehicle
through which the individual and institutional practices of journalists improve. By
thus highlighting new areas of teaching that are often under-theorized and under-
practised in the media, UNESCO is helping to expand the bounds of knowledge and
skills of journalism teachers and practitioners and setting the agenda for cutting-
edge journalistic practice.
As an attempt to cultivate a truly ‘universal’ appeal for such syllabi – a lesson all
so frequently referenced in our evaluation of the UNESCO Model Curricula – the
following guidelines were provided for the authors contributing to this compendium:
▶ The syllabus should highlight case studies or examples from as wide a range of
countries as possible, ensuring especially the inclusion of developing country
instances. Online and free resources are especially encouraged;
▶ The syllabus should include bibliographic reference materials from a wide
variety of national contexts, again not neglecting developing countries;
▶ The idea informing the two guidelines above is to (i) enhance the global utility of
the syllabi, and (ii) broaden the horizons of each national application as regards
knowledge of practice in other countries;
▶ The syllabus should be as gender-sensitive as possible, particularly in its use of
▶ The syllabus should be ﬂexibly written so that it can appeal to a wide range of
audiences, including journalism educators, media professionals, policy-makers
and the general public.
To sum up: the syllabi herein contained make a case for envisioning journalism
education as a constantly changing practice of a particular type of communication in
the public interest. In particular, they signal the ongoing debate about the academic
positioning of journalism education globally, the contextual applications of the
UNESCO Model Curricula and their implications for the future, and the continuing
search for new specialized syllabi that respond organically to a plethora of emerging
societal issues. With regard to the ﬁrst issue, there appears to be ongoing healthy
debate on how journalism education continues to feed off and into other better
established academic disciplines. For their part, the various national adaptations of
the Model Curricula have shown their value, and have arguably helped contribute in
part to the establishment of journalism education as an effective contributor to the
promotion of free, independent and pluralistic media. Even so, calls for updating
the Model Curricula continue to reshape – and thus revitalize – their contributions
by making them respond to emerging issues through the development of more
specialized syllabi. The international experiences in all this are part of what
UNESCO calls the ‘knowledge society‘, and they continue to strengthen the place of
journalism education within changing global and local contexts.
III. USER’S GUIDE AND OVERVIEW
How can these syllabi be used? In many ways, the utilization of these syllabi
is heuristic, with users bringing their own experiences to the process. As with
the UNESCO Model Curricula themselves, these specialized syllabi are not
a prescription; rather, they can be adapted to suit particular national and/or
institutional contexts of teaching and learning. While efforts have been made to
ensure they have an international appeal, there are invariably still limitations. With
this in mind, the following are possible ways to use the syllabi:
▶ As a teaching resource to supplement an already existing course: Some
institutions already have courses and/or modules on the subjects addressed
in these syllabi. In that case, the syllabi could be used as a further resource.
Many of the readings suggested may easily be recommended for existing
▶ As a new stand-alone module to be introduced into any training programme:
Where such areas are absent, any one of these syllabi could be used as an
innovation to introduce or integrate into existing programmes new subject
areas that could enrich the overall knowledge and skills set of students;
▶ As a training manual: Any journalism trainer may wish to adapt these syllabi
for their own purposes, relying on the lists of recommended readings they
▶ As a reading resource for practising journalists: Practising journalists can ﬁnd
the readings, especially those that are readily available online, listed in these
syllabi useful for their own intellectual enrichment and professional practice.
More importantly, the syllabi themselves expand upon these suggested methods
of deployment, in addition to including more choices for users. The list of
contributors at the end of the book includes email addresses to facilitate easy
contact, in case you wish to initiate discussion with them.
This compendium consists of specialized syllabi, as an attempt to reﬂect the
diversity of journalistic practice. The syllabi include those relating to:
▶ media sustainability
▶ data journalism
▶ intercultural journalism
▶ community radio journalism
▶ global journalism
▶ science journalism, incorporating bioethics
▶ gender and journalism
▶ humanitarian journalism
▶ reporting human trafﬁcking
▶ safety and journalism.
Clearly, all these respond to speciﬁc human needs. The global ﬁnancial and
economic crisis of 2008 resulted in a realignment of media formations, with many
in the developed countries migrating to online publishing as a way of reducing the
costs associated with production. Although this phenomenon has not particularly
affected the developing world, it signals a possible scenario, clearly making it
necessary for journalism educators to rethink existing models of sustainability.
For example, India’s newspapers, such as the Times of India, registered an
upswing in their circulation while their Western counterparts continued to
deteriorate in their circulation (Firstpost, 2012). But even in the West, the picture
is actually not so clear-cut. For example, the Economist magazine has generally
registered growth in its circulation (Mark, 2012). In itself, this raises questions
about the quality of the journalistic content, and the extent to which it addresses
the informational needs of audiences. It is possible that, in the wake of the
ﬁnancial crisis, many people would want to read independent economic analyses
in order to make better informed choices about their economic futures. So there
is a lesson here to be learned about how media ought to respond in times of great
need – a lesson that journalism educators would do well to learn fast.
Data journalism extends investigative journalism to include how data – both
quantitative and qualitative – can be processed to answer fundamental
investigative questions in journalistic practice. The near ubiquity of digital
information now available renders data journalism a professional reality for many
journalists, opening up new possibilities when it is combined with the traditional
‘“nose for news” and ability to tell a compelling story’ (Gray et al., 2013).
Intercultural journalism, for its part, is underpinned by the 2001 UNESCO
Declaration on Cultural Diversity and the 2005 Convention on the Protection
and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. It inculcates the kind
of intercultural competence required to handle stories in a culturally diverse
manner, enabling journalists to acquire skills of interaction and discovery that
promote acquisition of new knowledge of cultural practices and the ability to use
them to operate under constraints of real-time communication and collaboration
(see e.g. Davis et al., 2005).
Community radio journalism builds upon the premise and promise of participatory
communication, seeing journalism as an emancipatory practice in which poor and
marginalized communities have their voices ampliﬁed through radio against the
background of the professional routines of conventional journalism which often
privilege the powerful in society. It also recognizes the near ubiquity of the radio
medium, especially in the developing world.
Global journalism extends the idea of community into a nexus of global and local
relationships in which journalism is implicated. As a living practice, journalists
must have a broad and critical understanding of the principles and practice of
journalism on a global platform, while being responsive to the local realities.
Science journalism is a key part of what is generally referred to as the
popularization of the public understanding of science. Recognizing its educational,
democratic and developmental potential, science journalism has become a key
part of journalistic practice, ﬁnding major support among members of the World
Federation of Science Journalists (WFSJ) (see e.g. WFSJ, 2013) and other such
networks of specialist media practitioners. An important part of such public
understanding of science must be the ability by citizens, including journalists,
to monitor, make use of, and critically assess scientiﬁc knowledge, hence the
incorporation of bioethics in this particular syllabus.
Gender and journalism highlights the importance of gendered analysis in
journalistic practice. Informed by UNESCO’s Global Priority Gender Equality, this
syllabus is an attempt at teaching how journalists can use gender as an analytical
framework for understanding, researching and presenting news stories. All
too often, the voices of women are inadvertently silenced in the news content,
rendering them passive and voiceless. As a study by the International Women’s
Media Foundation (IWMF) found out, there were glass ceilings for women in
twenty of the ﬁfty-nine countries studied, commonly visible in middle and senior
management positions. Slightly more than half of the companies sampled had
an established company-wide policy on gender equity, ranging from 16 per cent
of such companies in Eastern Europe to 69 per cent in western and sub-Saharan
Africa (see e.g. IWMF, 2010). Such studies reinforce the need to incorporate
gender into journalism education, signalling the fact that, while the ﬁndings
above do not suggest that women have failed to advance in both number and
occupational status in recent years, women are still lacking adequate access to
the journalism profession in many newsrooms across the globe.
Humanitarian journalism recognizes the centrality of human rights in reporting,
especially in conﬂict or post-conﬂict situations. As such, this syllabus aims to
equip students with conceptual knowledge and practical skills relating to the role
of the journalist – as a duty bearer – in the promotion and protection of human
rights in times of peace or crisis.
Anti-human trafﬁcking and journalism extends the idea of humanitarian
journalism to the scourge of human trafﬁcking. As a form of investigative
journalism, it also places human rights at the centre of human trafﬁcking, with a
special focus on women and children.
Safety and journalism go hand in glove. Journalists need to practise their craft
safely. As a result, they need a ﬁrm understanding of the national, regional and
international safeguards available to them. They also need a special grounding
in the practicalities of playing it safe as they go about their trade. A related issue
is one of advocacy to news media institutions themselves to provide a degree of
protection within their means – as well as to policy-makers to provide a policy and
legal environment in which impunity will be punished as a deterrent to would-be
offenders. In part, this syllabus is a direct response to the UN Plan of Action on
the Safety of Journalists which UNESCO coordinates.
References to Parts I to III
Aslam, Rukhsana. 2012. UNESCO J-Education Model: How Has it Fared in the PaciĹc? www.pmc.aut.ac.nz/
articles/unesco-j-education-model-how-has-it-fared-paciŰc (Accessed 20 February 2013.)
Banda, F. and Schmitz Weiss, A. (eds). 2013. Teaching Journalism in Developing Countries and Emerging
Democracies: The Case of UNESCO’s Model Curricula. Report of the proceedings of the 2012
AEJMC Pre-Conference Workshop, hosted by the International Communication Division of AEJMC
and UNESCO and the UNESCO special panel at the Fourth European Communication Conference of
the European Communication Research and Education Association (ECREA). www.unesco.org/new/
Űleadmin/MULTIMEDIA/HQ/CI/CI/pdf/news/unesco_model_curricula_report.pdf (Accessed 8 April
Berger, Guy and Foote, Joe. 2013. Tomorrow’s training: transformations in the provision of journalism
education (forthcoming chapter).
Berger, Guy and Matras, Corinne. 2007. Preface to Criteria and Indicators for Quality Journalism Training
Institutions and Identifying Potential Centres of Excellence in Journalism Training in Africa. Paris:
Claussen, Dane S. 2012. A truly bold idea for U.S. J&MC education: sincerely trying true excellence for once.
Journalism and Mass Communication Educator, Vol. 67, No. 3, pp. 211–17.
Claussen, Dane S. 2007. Editor’s note: a model J&MC curriculum for developing countries is progress for
them, perhaps at least reminders for ‘developed’ U.S. J&MC education. Journalism and Mass
Communication Educator, Vol. 62, pp. 237–40.
Davis, N., Cho, M. O. and Hagenson, L. 2005. Intercultural competence and the role of technology in teacher
education. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, Vol. 4, No. 4, pp. 384–94.
Finberg, Howard. 2012. The future of journalism education: a personal perspective. Keynote speech delivered
at the European Journalism Centre twentieth anniversary celebration, 4bJune 2012. Maastricht,
Netherlands. www.newsu.org/future-journalism-education (Accessed 31 January 2013.)
Firstpost. 2012. New Yorker discovers India’s paid media, but misses the point. www.Űrstpost.com/business/
new-yorker-discovers-indias-paid-media-but-misses-the-point-476340.html (Accessed 8 April
Freedman, Eric and Shafer, Richard. 2010. Ambitious in theory but unlikely in practice: a critique of UNESCO’s
Model Curriculum for Journalism Education for Developing Countries and Emerging Democracies.
Journal of Third World Studies, Vol. 27, No. 1, pp. 135–53.
Gray, J., Bounegru, L. and Chambers, L. (eds). 2013. The Data Journalism Handbook: How Journalists Can Use
Data to Improve the News. http://datajournalismhandbook.org/1.0/en/introduction_0.html (Accessed
8 April 2013.)
International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF). 2010. Global Report on The Status of Women in the News
Media. Washington DC.: IWMF.
Mark, L. 2012. Reader-nomics: The Economist shows Newsweek there is life left in print. www.thedrum.com/
8 April 2013.)
McLellan, Michele and Newton, Eric. 2012. Digital Training Comes Of Age: How Knight Journalism Fellows
and Trainees BeneĹt – And Why They Want Even More. Miami, Fla: Knight Foundation. www.
knightfoundation.org/media/uploads/publication_pdfs/KFTrainingFieldReportWEB.pdf (Accessed 31
Nordenstreng, Kaarle. 2010. World Journalism Education Congress, Rhodes University, South Africa,
5–7 July 2010. Panel 6: Driving the future of journalism curricula. www.uta.Ű/cmt/en/
contact/staff/kaarlenordenstreng/publications/WJEC2010_Curriculum_ per cent20Panel_ per
cent20Proceedings1.pdf (Accessed 12 February 2013.)
Pavlik, J. V., Laufer, P. D., Burns, D. P. and Ataya, R. T. 2012. Reforming Iraqi journalism and mass
communication higher education: adapting the UNESCO Model Curricula for journalism education to
Iraqi higher education. Journalism and Mass Communication Educator, Vol. 67, No. 3, pp. 268–85.
Pool, Michael. 2007. User’s Guide to Science and Belief, 3rd edn. Oxford: Lion.
Susman-Peña, Tara. 2012. Making Media Development More Effective. Washington DC: Center for
International Media Assistance (CIMA).
UNESCO. 2012. 11 more institutions to adapt UNESCO Model Curricula for journalism training. UNESCO Abuja
Newsletter, Vol. 4, No. 2, p. 6.
World Federation of Science Journalists (WFSJ). 2013. World Conference of Science Journalists taking shape!
www.wfsj.org/news/news.php?id=304 (Accessed 8 April 2013.)
World Journalism Education Council (WJEC). 2008. WJEC’s Principles of Journalism Education. http://wjec.
ou.edu/principles.php (Accessed 11 February 2013.)
These are model syllabi that are offered in the expectation that they will be
adapted to local and national conditions. Each syllabus contains ideas, methods
and material that may serve as inspiration to other teachers and planners.
Robert G. Picard
Media sustainability is concerned with the factors needed for
independent media to develop, ﬂourish, and endure so they
can make contributions to the beneﬁt of society. Key factors
of sustainability are the capability to maintain operations
by creating self-generating revenue streams, effective
governance and management of the media enterprise, and
promotion of journalistic and media professionalism. Other
factors are more systemic, and are affected by government
and society, such as a functioning economy, protections of
free expression, and governmental transparency. This course
explores the factors in sustainability and examines what
those starting and working in media need to be concerned
about and what they can do to improve the sustainability of
their operations. The course is designed to provide students a
clear understanding of the conditions that need to be pursued
to make media sustainable.
Level of course: Final year bachelor’s degree/master’s level.
Mode: Lectures, seminar discussions and activities.
Pedagogical approach or method: The course is designed to give students a
realistic understanding of the environments in which media organizations operate
and to help students assess sustainability challenges and identify strategies for
overcoming them. It will be best taught using lectures, case discussions, role
playing, readings and activities with visiting professionals. Because it is designed
to engage students in exploring how the challenges manifest themselves and
what journalists and media operators are doing to cope with and overcome
them, the course includes weekly assignments that investigate how the factors
of sustainability are affecting media industries and speciﬁc media and what
journalists and managers are doing about them.
Number of hours per week: three hours of class time; two hours of reading and
Course description: This eight-week course is designed to explore these
fundamental issues and reveal the responsibility of journalists and media ﬁrms
to improve the environment in which they operate and to engage in strategies and
practices that promote sustainability. It recognizes differences among nations,
governments, roles of media, sizes of media enterprises, and journalism cultures
and practices, and focuses on underlying commonalities and needs.
Grading and assessment protocols
Seminar discussion participation: 20 per cent
Class assignments: 50 per cent
Final exam: 30 per cent.
Required resources: computers with internet access to readings and researching
contemporary challenges to sustainability.
Week 1: Introduction to media sustainability
Topics: What is media sustainability? Why is it important? What roles do
media, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and others play in pursuing
it? Fundamental requirements of sustainability: technology; audience; relative
absence of economic, governmental and social constraints; how sustainability is
linked to media development.
Seminar discussion and activity: What factors present the greatest sustainability
challenges to media in the students’ country? After identifying issues, break the
students into groups, assign them a challenge, and have them jointly produce and
share with others a two- or three-page report showing why and how the challenge
Assignment: Two-page report on how the economy, technology, and audience
inﬂuence sustainability of a particular medium (newspapers, magazines, radio,
television, digital media) in a selected country.
Readings: Center for International Media Assistance (2007), IREX (n.d.), Konrad-
Adenauer-Stiftung (2006), Nelson and Susman-Peña (2009), UNESCO (2008).
Week 2: Governmental factors in sustainability
Topics: How regulation and laws promote or hinder development and
sustainability of independent media. Why do freedom of expression and
government transparency affect sustainability? How does licensing and
registration of media and journalists affect sustainability, and how can it be done
in a fair manner? How does the government response to attacks on journalists and
media affect sustainability? Why do some libel laws make media unsustainable?
Can international standards that deﬁne legitimate limitations on the media affect
media growth? What place is there for government direct or indirect subsidy, and
how can this be reconciled with independence?
Seminar discussion and activity: What governmental factors present the greatest
sustainability challenges to media in the students’ country? After identifying
factors, break the students into groups, assign them one of the factors, and have
them jointly produce and share with others a two- to three-page report showing
why and how the factor affects sustainability.
Assignment: Two-page report on how a particular governmental factor inﬂuences
media sustainability in a particular country.
Readings: Cowan and Westphal (2010), Freedom House (n.d.), Friedrich-Ebert-
Stiftung (n.d.), Reporters sans Frontieres/Reporters without Borders (n.d.), United
Nations (1948), UN Human Rights Committee (n.d.).
Week 3: Sustainability of community media
Topics: What are ‘community media’? What role do they play in communities?
What kinds of factors distinguish them from purely commercial operations in
terms of sustainability? What unique sustainability challenges do they face?
Seminar discussion and activity: What advantages and disadvantages do
community media have when dealing with the fundamental factors in media
sustainability? After identifying the advantages/disadvantages, break the students
into groups, assign them an advantage or disadvantage, and have them jointly
produce and share with others a two- to three-page report showing why and how
the factor affects sustainability.
Assignment: Two-page report on the sustainability challenges facing a particular
community media operation in the students’ country.
Readings: Buckley (2011), Fairbain (2009), Fraser and Restrepo Estrada (2001).
Week 4: Making media startups sustainable
Topics: What sustainability issues should concern those establishing digital media
enterprises? What is the nature of entrepreneurship? How do you connect with
audiences and create communities? How do you avoid the failure problems of
many young companies? What, then, is the place of ‘entrepreneurial journalism’?
Seminar discussion: What kinds of ﬁnancing and cost arrangements do you need
when starting a digital media operation and how do you fund its operations for the
initial eighteen to twenty-four months? After identifying ﬁnancial and cost issues,
break the students into groups, assign them one of the arrangements, and have
them jointly produce and share with others a two- to three-page report showing
why and how the arrangement affects sustainability.
Assignment: Interview (in person, telephone, or by email) the manager of a
relatively young media organization about the challenges it has encountered in
starting up and keeping alive. Write a two-page report based on the interview.
Readings: J-Lab (n.d.a, n.d.b), Poynter Institute (n.d.).
Week 5: Roles of management and governance in sustainability
Topics: Why creating the capability to continue operations must be the primary
task of those leading a media enterprise. What sustainability issues should
concern a manager? What is the role of directors of the company in sustainability
and what should concern them? How do you manage company resources,
dependence on sources of funding and supplies, and debt? How does editorial
independence reconcile with the interests of managers, boards and owners?
How can owners be ethical in pursuing the business sustainability of their media
Seminar discussion: Why is it important to have clear responsibilities for
ensuring sustainability in a media operation, and how should that responsibility
be assigned? After identifying governance arrangements, break the students
into groups, assign them an arrangement, and have them jointly produce and
share with others a two- to three-page report showing how and why and it affects
Assignment: Write a two-page report reﬂecting on how you would set up an ideal
governance structure to pursue sustainability and what responsibilities you would
give to the board and management and why.
Readings: African Media Initiative (n.d.), Berger (n.d.), Global Reporting Initiative
(n.d.), Jarvis (2010), Radio for Peacebuilding Africa (n.d.), Thomas (2009), Vitols
Week 6: The importance of business models and sources of ﬁnancial resources
Topics: What is a business model and why is it more than merely sources of
money? What is needed to make it a business model effective? How should
journalists and media managers think about their sources of revenue? Is there a
standard business model everyone should pursue?
Seminar discussion: Why and how do different media and different units of
the same medium have different business models and revenue sources? After
identifying differences, break the students into groups, assign them a form of
business model, and have them jointly produce and share with others a two- to
three-page report showing why and how it affects dependence and sustainability.
Assignment: Write a two-page report describing the business model of a chosen
Readings: African Media Initiative (2011), Folkenﬂik (2009), Foster (2011), Jarvis
(2011), Picard (2010a, n.d.), www.opensocietyfoundations.org/reports/digitization-
media-business-models, WAN/IFRA (2011).
Week 7: Financial aspects of sustainability
Topics: Why are efﬁcient expenditures, effective uses of capital, caution with debt
and liabilities, cash ﬂow management, strategic uses of accounting, operational
self sufﬁciency, and continuous renewal of resources important to sustainability?
How do you plan for future income and unexpected expenses?
Seminar discussion: Discuss how you oversee ﬁnancial aspects without being
an accountant. Review a company’s operating statement and balance sheet to
learn how to ‘read’ it. Discuss what big questions should be asked when reading
ﬁnancial statements. After identifying issues, break the students into groups,
assign them a measure of company performance and health, and have them
jointly produce and share with others a two- to three-page report showing why
and how it affects sustainability.
Assignment: Write a two-page review of the implications of a ﬁnancial statement
of a company.
Readings: Picard (2010b, 2011a), Small Business Notes (n.d.).
Week 8: Journalism and media professionalism; credibility; cooperation and
Topics: Why is organizing and supporting journalism and media professional
and trade associations important for sustainability? How is quality of content
related to credibility and trust? Why are training programmes for those working in
media critical to professionalism? Why are market research and reliable industry
statistics crucial for developing sustainability? How do ethical standards and
fairness/balance in journalism affect sustainability?
Seminar discussion: Discuss the existing media organizations and press freedom
advocacy groups in your country and their functions. What are their strengths and
weaknesses? What kind of organizations are missing, and what would be gained
by having and supporting them?
After identifying organizations, break the students into groups, assign them an
organization, and have them jointly produce and share with others a two- to
three-page report about that organization and what it is doing to promote industry
Assignment: Write a two-page review of working conditions for journalists and
media sustainability in your country based on reports of international professional
associations and advocacy groups. Suggest what journalists in the country might
do to address the issues raised.
Readings: International Press Institute (n.d.), International Principles of
Professional Ethics in Journalism (n.d.), Society of Professional Journalists (n.d.).
Background readings for the instructor
Abbott et al. (2011), Coyne and Leeson (2009), Howley (2009), Locksley (2009),
Picard (2011b), Reader and Hatcher (2011), Senevirtane (2012), USAID (2012).
Relevant online resources for research and contemporary information
▶ African Media Initiative (AMI), www.africanmediainitiative.org/
▶ Asian Media Information and Communication Centre (AMIC), www.amic.
▶ Center for Digital Democracy, www.democraticmedia.org
▶ Center for International Media Assistance, www.cima.ned.org/media-
▶ Center for Sustainable Journalism, Kennesaw State University, www.
▶ Cyberjournalism.Net, www.cyberjournalist.net
▶ Independent Media Center, www.indymedia.org
▶ International Center for Journalists, www.ijnet.org
▶ International Federation of Journalists, www.ifj.org
▶ International Journalists’ Network, www.ijnet.org
▶ International Press Institute, http://www.freemedia.at/
▶ Internews Network, www.internews.org
▶ IREX, www.irex.org
▶ Media Development Loan Fund, www.mdlf.org
▶ Media Institute for Southern Africa (MISA) and its country chapters, http://
▶ Reporters sans frontières, www.rsf.org
▶ World Association of Community Broadcasters, www.amarc.org
This course complements media and society, and media management courses,
and provides more speciﬁcity and depth on the environment affecting media and
issues of establishing and sustaining media operations.
Abbott, Susan, Price, Monroe E. and Morgan, Libby (eds). 2011. Measures of Press Freedom and Media
Contributions to Development. New York: Peter Lang.
African Media Initiative. 2011. Funding African Media in an Age of Uncertain Business Models. Nairobi: AMI.
African Media Initiative. n.d. Leadership and Guiding Principles for African Media Owners and Managers. www.
Berger, Guy. Editorial Independence: It’s Not Just for Editors, pp. 126–32. www.kas.de/upload/
Buckley, Steve. 2011. Community Media: A Good Practice Handbook, Paris: UNESCO. www.unesco.org/
Center for International Media Assistance. 2007. Toward Economic Sustainability of the Media in Developing
Countries, working group report. http://cima.ned.org/sites/default/Űles/CIMA-Economic_
Cowan, Geoffrey and Westphal, David. 2010. Public Policy and Funding the News. University of Southern
California Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. www.niemanlab.org/pdfs/USC%20
Coyne, Christopher J. and Leeson, Peter T. 2009. Media, Development, and Institutional Change. Cheltenham,
UK: Edward Elgar.
Fairbain, Jane. 2009.Community Media Sustainability Guide: The Business of Changing Lives. Washington DC:
Folkenűik, David. 2009. Jeff Jarvis: Rewriting media’s business model (again). NPR. www.npr.org/templates/
Foster, Michelle J. 2011. Matching the Market and the Model: The Business of Independent News Media.
Washington DC: Center for International Media Assistance. http://cima.ned.org/publications/
Fraser, Colin and Restrepo Estrada, Sonia. 2001. Community Radio Handbook. Paris: UNESCO. www.unesco.
Freedom House. n.d. Freedom of the press. www.freedomhouse.org/reports
Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung. n.d. Barometre des medias Africains. http://library.fes.de/pdf-Űles/bueros/africa-
Global Reporting Initiative. n.d. Media Supplement. www.globalreporting.org/reporting/sector-guidance/media/
Howley, Kevin (ed.). 2009. Understanding Community Media. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage.
International Press Institute. n.d. Media and money. www.freemedia.at/Űleadmin/media/Documents/IPI_
International Principles of Professional Ethics in Journalism. http://ethicnet.uta.Ű/international/international_
IREX. n.d. The media sustainability index. www.irex.org/resource/media-sustainability-index-msi-methodology
J-Lab. n.d.a. New Media Makers Toolkit. www.j-lab.org/publications/new-media-makers-toolkit
J-Lab. n.d.b. New Voices: What Works. www.j-lab.org/publications/new-voices-what-works
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Data journalism can be considered as a highly specialized
branch of investigative reporting, but the majority of
techniques can also be put to good use in everyday
journalism. This course introduces students to the basic
theory, methods and tools of data journalism. In order to work
in data journalism, knowledge of its history and the classical
examples or paradigms is required. The reading list includes
articles that provide an overview of this growing species of
journalism, providing an excellent base-level understanding
of the ﬁeld of data journalism.
Level of course: Second- or third-year students undertaking a four-year
Course description: Data journalism is already ﬁfty years old, but its popularity
has soared, particularly in recent years. This ﬁeld of journalism involves stories
being written based on a collection of data, an excellent example of which is the
data section of the British newspaper, the Guardian. Scandinavian, French and
Spanish newspapers are taking up this example and are starting interesting data
journalism projects as well.
Working in the ﬁeld of data journalism presupposes knowledge and skills in two
areas, the ﬁrst of which is the ﬁeld of methodology and statistics, since the data
used are generally the result of research. Drawing conclusions from a pile of
data is only possible if there is an initial understanding of what is actually being
measured, the values and variables, levels of measurement, and margins of error.
This enables a hypothesis to be formulated, which is then applied to the data-set
using statistical tests. In the reading list is an overview of articles that introduce
journalists to the basics of statistics and methodology.
The second area that requires a level of comprehension on the part of data
journalists is identifying an interesting data-set. What constitutes an interesting
place to look for data? Among the most obvious choices are databases from
governments or (international) organizations, or web pages of these organizations
with data. Once the source has been found, the next step is how to obtain the
data on your computer and carry out the number crunching. Several interesting
tools are available, Microsoft Ofﬁce Excel spreadsheets being the most common
example, enabling the majority of basic tests to be carried out. Instead of Excel,
there are free possibilities at hand; OpenOfﬁce and LibreOfﬁce include free
spreadsheet programmes. A hands-on introduction to spreadsheets forms part of
Once the techniques of Excel have been taught, the focus turns to exporting data
from a database, the web or pdf format into Excel, with several assignments
paying attention to translating, downloading or scraping data from the web.
Generally the raw data that are imported into Excel require cleaning up, in order
to start the analysis. A special assignment on this topic is also included.
Now it is time to see if your ideas (hypotheses) hold, and if a conclusion can
be drawn from the data, which will then serve as the basis for a story. Simple
statistical tools in spreadsheet programmes will be adequate to calculate
averages, percentage differences or correlations, while for more advanced
analysis, any statistical package available at universities for analysis will do. Tools
such as SPSS (Statistical Package for Social Science) or Statistica, commonly
used at universities, are more appropriate, as is R-project (a free and open-source
software package for statistical analysis). Several analysis-based assignments will
be allocated, based on a speciﬁc dataset.
Since ﬁgures are generally difﬁcult to understand, graphs are often used as a
basic tool in data journalism to present a better understanding of the trends.
Graphs can be produced easily using Excel or the many free tools available online
for this purpose. Tableau is an example of a more advanced tool for making
graphics based on data.
Most data have a geographical component as well, and therefore adding data
to a map (GIS, geographical information systems) using Google fusion tables
is another important tool in data journalism. Various assignments related to
graphics and maps feature in the course, based on a speciﬁc data-set.
Data journalism is a form of journalism, and therefore aims at producing a
story. The ﬁndings and conclusion from the data need to be contextualized, or
interpreted to a speciﬁc situation. There are several ways to do that. The ﬁrst
is to ﬁnd key people who can be quoted commenting on the ﬁndings from their
own experience. For example ﬁndings about poverty or crime should be put in
the perspective of persons affected and related to a speciﬁc setting. Various
groups of people are interesting for quotes: policy-makers, specialists and people
directly affected. Traditional interviewing can be used to get the information and
quotes. However the use of social media like Facebook and Twitter creates new
Creating a small survey for a selected group of people, relevant to the case
studied, is a second possibility for creating a context for abstract data. Open-
ended questions, although the answers are more difﬁcult to analyse than those
from closed questions, could be a good choice. Depending on the circumstance
the survey could be processed in a traditional analogue way, but there are also
online ways of doing a survey, for example a button on a media website, guiding
persons to the questionnaire. It should be noted that some special training is
needed if journalists are to arrive at valid results.
This course in data journalism ends with an individual or group project, which sees
students choose their own data-set and demonstrate competency in the basics
of data journalism. All work on the project, from choosing the topic, collecting
the data, carrying out the analysis, and writing the ﬁnal news story, should be
done in cooperation with the lecturer, and with guidance on revision before their
approval. An example of a project, together with the relevant structure, outline and
planning, is included in the list of literature.
Note: this course covers the basics of data journalism and teaches students how to handle secondary data.
Working with primary data is also very popular, however, with the setting up of online surveys being one such
example. Many current stories concern social network analysis based on Twitter relations. These two topics
are more advanced, and need more knowledge and skills. A separate module on this issue could be developed
and operated as a sequel to this basic course.
Mode: this module on the theory and practice of data journalism has been
established as an online training course. Moodle software would be an appropriate
choice for creating a partially electronic learning environment, as it offers the
possibility to create entries for classes, including literature, hands-on examples,
instruction and assignments, as well as having the capacity to create a library with
all the relevant course documents, services for chat/discussion and email.
Digital teaching works well in combination with conventional classroom meetings.
In order to work online, participants/students and lecturers should know each
other. Second, in order to improve motivation, one classroom meeting during the
course is needed to discuss problems and progress. A ﬁnal classroom meeting
should be dedicated to presenting the outcomes of the ﬁnal projects conducted by
each of the students.
Pedagogical approach or method: The course uses a combination of various
pedagogical approaches. Online teaching in an electronic learning environment is
combined with meetings in a classical classroom setting, where possible, together
with tutorial/supervision on project work. (There should be one initial meeting, and
then a second one, preferably in the middle of the course.) If online teaching is
not possible because of technical limitations it is possible to turn this course into
regular training, for example an intensive course lasting one week, at any place
convenient for the participants.
The course is practical/hands-on and student-centred. This implies that students
are responsible for their own work in the various classes and for managing their
time associated with this. Lecturers generally serve as coaches, helping the
students to make their ﬁrst steps in this ﬁeld, and to overcome any problems
encountered during assignments.
The lecturers who teach this course should be familiar with the principles of data
journalism and have knowledge of working in an electronic learning environment.
It is likely that extra training for lecturers in both areas will be required. A training
of trainers should therefore be the ﬁrst step, and must be developed based on
the outline of this course. A pilot course can then start, run by the lecturers in
cooperation with the trainer of trainers.
Finally, a course manual must be developed and written, including a complete
outline of the course for the students and lecturers, together with examples and
assignments. This manual, combined with the course description, will provide the
steps and direction required in order to follow the course.
Grading: 50 hours worth of credits, or 50 credit hours.
Seventy per cent of the credits for this course are derived from the assignments
and test. For the theory aspect, a set of open-ended questions must be answered,
and for the practical component, a number of assignments must be handed in.
The remaining 30 per cent of the credits are derived from a project, in which
students demonstrate mastery of the basics of data journalism, based on their
Number of hours: four per week over a ten-week period (two hours reading and
two hours practical) plus ten hours for the ﬁnal project.
Equipment: Because the course is taught in a digital environment, a server
running Moodle, with sufﬁcient capacity and bandwidth, is best for this project. It
must be decided whether this server runs on one of the networks of the education/
training provider, or is hosted by an internet service provider. In both cases, the
services of an IT specialist are required to install and control the functioning of the
server. The students and lecturers of this online course need access to computers
which are capable of running at least Windows 7 and have broadband internet
access. They must also have the capacity to install the following software:
▶ an email program
▶ Firefox web browser
▶ Excel or a similar spreadsheet program
▶ Outwit Hub, plug-in Firefox
▶ Google Reﬁne
▶ Tableau or similar.
Session 1: What is data journalism?
Readings (Data Journalism Handbook) and responding to questions.
Assignment: Find stories you think are good examples of data journalism.
Session 2: Principles of research and statistics
Readings (on statistics for journalists) and questions.
Assignment: In reference to a particular data-set, answer the following:
▶ Which are the variables, what are they measuring, what is the level of
▶ Which hypothesis would you test on these data?
Do the same for your own data-set.
Session 3: Introduction to spreadsheets
Readings (on spreadsheets and CAR techniques) and conducting the following
▶ basics: inputting numbers and text, simple calculations
▶ simple formulae, ordering and ﬁltering, simple graphics
▶ advanced pivot tables.
Session 4: Working with spreadsheets
▶ Download data from: 1) online database 2) pdf to Excel.
▶ Importing CVs.
▶ Importing Google docs.
▶ Find an interesting data-set, put it into a spreadsheet and describe which
techniques you used.
Session 5: Scraping and reﬁning
Readings (on OutWit and Google Reﬁne)
Session 6: Analysing data: testing and conclusions
Session 7: Making graphics with web tools
Readings (on Maps and Google fusion tables, and Tableau)
Session 8: Working with Tableau and Google fusion tables for more advanced
graphics and maps
Session 9: Writing the story
Readings (on writing stories)
Session 10: Project, individual or group.
History of data journalism:
Meyer, Philip. 2011. Precision journalism and narrative journalism: toward a uniŰed Űeld theory. www.
Wikipedia. What is CAR? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer-assisted_reporting
Wikipedia. What is data driven journalism? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_driven_journalism
Examples of data-driven journalism by Mindy McAdams: http://mindymcadams.com/tojou/2012/data-
Philip Meyer’s award-winning stories:
Data journalism handbook:
Data journalism handbook.org. Data Journalism Handbook. http://datajournalismhandbook.org/1.0/en/
On coders and journos:
Verweij, Peter. 2012. Data journalism: where coders and journos meet. http://memeburn.com/2012/03/data-
Thibodeaux, Troy. 2011. Ten tools that can help data journalists do better work, be more efŰcient. www.
Thibodeaux, Troy. 2011. Five tips for getting started in data journalism. www.poynter.org/how-tos/digital-
CAR techniques and data journalism:
Issu.com. Data journalism. http://issuu.com/tcij/docs/data_journalism_book
James, B. W. Basic Excel tutorial. http://people.usd.edu/~bwjames/tut/excel/
Methodology and statistics for journalists:
Explorable.com. 2011. Research methodology. www.experiment-resources.com/research-methodology.html
Explorable.com. 2011. Statistics tutorial. www.experiment-resources.com/statistics-tutorial.html
Issuu.com. 2011. Statistics for journalists. http://issuu.com/tcij/docs/cij_statistics_for_journalists_26_05_11
Niles, Robert. Statistics every journalist should know. www.robertniles.com/stats/
Manual hub: http://blog.outwit.com/
NICAR on use of Outwit Hub: https://docs.google.com/a/d3-media.nl/document/d/16qj2_1EohABneH_
Propublica on Google ReŰne: http://www.propublica.org/nerds/item/using-google-reŰne-for-data-cleaning
Maps and Google fusion tables: http://support.google.com/fusiontables/bin/answer.
Working with Tableau:
Tableau. How it works. www.tableausoftware.com/public/how-it-works
Manual on investigative reporting: Hunter, Mark Lee. 2011. Story-Based Inquiry: A Manual for Investigative
Journalists. Paris: UNESCO. http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0019/001930/193078e.pdf
This course aims to develop students’ awareness and
knowledge of intercultural issues in all their dimensions,
applied to the ﬁeld of journalistic production (content
development; identity introspection; mediatization of
social domains; management policy and human resources
management of the media organization; economic
performance (business case) and industrialization of
culture, communication and information; social issues in
the construction and development of public spaces; social
legitimization; knowledge development and so on).
Level of course: The course is designed for third-year university students, with or
without a journalism background, enrolling in the ﬁrst year of a Master’s degree (M1).
Course description: This curriculum takes into account the changes that, since
the second half of the twentieth century, have exponentially increased the ﬂow of
information, goods and people, while addressing global issues, regardless of the
players involved (public/private/association, individuals/communities, informal/
institutional), reinforcing the politicization of cultural issues. At the same time,
phenomena of regional and local, geopolitical and symbolic reterritorialization are
gradually reappearing in the world, reactivating the culturalization of political and
social issues (Žižek, 2004).
To overcome the superﬁcial media coverage of intercultural issues the module must
therefore ‘turn the hourglass over in both directions’: from the structure to the event,
from freedom to membership, from universe to place and to diverse (Braudel, 1958).
Thus, the module opens up to the greatest extent possible theoretical, conceptual
and methodological approaches which may contribute to assisting the participants
practically and introspectively, once back in the ﬁeld of information practices (or the
discovery of them). Facilitation of the course is distinguished from any normative
focus that might cause confusion between knowledge and instrumentalization, and
the training deviates from any peremptory transmission of journalism instruction
manuals, branded with ‘sound management’ of interculturality, which magically
reduce knowledge to absolute techniques of management skills, interpersonal skills
and transcription skills.
While it does address these contemporary management tools, the training module
is also aimed at journalists who may have to deal intellectually with interculturality
as a subject and engage their social responsibility, in all its dimensions, in this area.
The course aims in particular to prevent journalism itself from becoming bogged
down, voluntarily or unwillingly, in the intricacies of the mosaic of culture (Moles,
1967, see also Moles, 1979). It is indeed in the interest of contemporary journalism
to free itself from this loose patchwork of disparate elements of speech, propelled
by the bombardment of information in our contemporary societies and leading to
the confusion of different types of knowledge, to the development of which mass
communication has already amply contributed since the middle of the twentieth
century. Vigilance has already proved inadequate in terms of ethics and knowledge in
journalism training (Badillo, 2005), allowing media discourse to go astray in the erring
ways of apologists full of hatred and other ‘authenticity’ propagandists, tragically
responsible for contemporary genocides (Chrétien, 2002).
Mode: In order to handle all of the main contemporary issues involved in interrelating
journalism and interculturality, the module proposes a two-pronged approach,
drawing on lessons learned from the development of multidisciplinary studies and
providing room for debate on each proposal.
Pedagogical approach or method: The module has been designed from the
perspective of reﬂexive questions, inseparable from journalism practice, rather than
an aim to provide a guide giving ready-made answers and solutions. (The wise person
continues to wonder when the fool already has the answer.)
Facilitation of the module is educationally designed primarily in the form of an
introductory and interactive workshop. The aim is to obtain feedback from participants
concerning the production of media information that has already been published and
that concerns interculturality (press reports, extracts of television programmes and
so on). Interactivity can also be encouraged through collective reactions provoked by
the discovery of excerpts chosen by the facilitator, which are signiﬁcant regarding the
issues identiﬁed by the authors in the ﬁeld of human and social sciences in the very
domain of journalism and interculturality. The facilitator can then provide scenarios
and role play concerning issues arising in the ﬁeld (such as an interview situation in
the ﬁeld of interculturality, played by two participants, then debriefed with the rest of
the group, participants and observers alike).
This early work of categorization prepares the ground for conceptual, theoretical
and even paradigmatic reﬂection, led by the facilitator (schools’ presentations
and coordination of proposals, analysis of authors’ work, brought into contextual
perspective, with personal anecdotes and examples from the ﬁeld, for the purpose of
Final assessment may take the form of a project defended orally by the candidate in
front of the facilitator at the end of the session.
Facilitators must have extensive experience in the theory of the issues raised by
interculturality and the questioning of information globally and locally, paying special
attention to pedagogy and participant involvement. Journalism experience, however
slight, is recommended for the facilitation of the course.
Credits: Sixty hours worth of credits. [This could be expressed as follows: Sixty credit
hours] (corresponding to xxx credits).1
Course credits are awarded on the basis of participants’ active presence in the
course, systematically recorded by the facilitator (30 per cent of the credits) and
an assessment of students’ acquisitions (70 per cent of the credits), which can be
based on students’ projects relating to intercultural issues that might be suitable for
publication in a weekly newspaper, for example (the theme having been validated by
the course facilitator).
Number of hours per week: Ideally four hours of facilitation per week over a period
of twelve weeks (a total of forty-eight hours), each sequence consisting of a one-hour
reading commented on collectively, one hour of practical work and two hours of
methodological, conceptual and theoretical contributions (with breaks).
Participants also need time outside the class for the preparation of the ﬁnal project.
Assessment of this project may also be accompanied by an oral presentation requiring
the facilitator’s additional presence for half an hour per participant (a twenty-minute
presentation and ten minutes of feedback by the facilitator).
In short, the facilitator should provide forty-eight hours of classroom presence plus
half an hour per participant for the ﬁnal assessment in the event of an additional oral
Equipment: The course does not require a signiﬁcant amount of technical equipment
but could need to use equipment that is already available onsite, such as video
projectors, recorders and cameras for role playing or to illustrate case studies.
For the rest, the equipment required is limited to a set of modular tables that may be
conﬁgured into a u-shape for presentations and moved around for the preparation and
execution of role playing.
1 Note from the creator of the module: it is necessary to allocate a signilcant number of credits to this module as part of a
training course in journalism. Students – and some associated professionals – sometimes tend to reduce to the learning of
techniques in their tactical calculation of which credits to obtain and which to sacrilce, which is generally done at the expense
of training that is considered to be more theoretical.